September 4, 1863

September 4, 2013

One hundred fifty years ago, on September 4, 1863, the Confederate defenders of Little Rock were seeking additional men in the ranks:

Little Rock, September 4, 1863.
To the people of Pulaski County:
The country demands the services of every citizen capable of bearing arms or ministering to the wants of the wounded. The enemy threatens Little Rock with an imposing force. Your brave defenders confront him with a fixed determination to turn him back in confusion, and are confident of victory. Upon the result of the impending battles rest in great measure the fate of Arkansas, the inviolability of your homes, and the honor of your families.
You have not yet known the utter misery of being overridden by a merciless and vindictive foe, and either driven with your wives and daughters into a homeless exile or forced to crouch in servile and degrading submission at the feet of the conqueror, in order to purchase a fleeting exemption from poverty and imprisonment by a base surrender of your manhood and your honor. You have never yet been compelled to sue for protection against evils like these, and worse than these, to men who command armies composed largely of your own slaves.
If you would avoid such misery and degradation, you must loiter no longer in ease and safety, but rush to the side of the undaunted men who crowd the intrenchments and eagerly await the coming of the foe. Your country, your wives, your daughters, your mothers, your own honor appeal to you to act at once.
I therefore invite you to volunteer without delay, in any company which you may prefer, or to organize yourselves to-night under the call of your Governor.
If there be any among you too cowardly or base to volunteer under these circumstances, he shall be compelled to share your dangers, though he cannot share your glory.
The commandant of this post will be directed to arrest every able-bodied man to-morrow who may be absent from his post, whether he be officer, man, or citizen, and whether he belong to commands elsewhere or not, and to place him wherever his services may be most required.
The commanding officers of the troops in front have been ordered to arrest, and to shoot down, if necessary, every one who may be found attempting to pass toward the enemy under any pretext whatever, either with or without a pass.
Major-general, Commanding.

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

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